Preparing Scotland is underpinned by the principal legislation involved, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (the Act) and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (the Regulations), as amended in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning)(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Amendment of List of Responders) (Scotland) Order 2021.
This legislation outlines the key organisations responsible for ensuring the effective management of emergencies in Scotland. These are referred to in the legislation as follows:
Category 1 Responders
- Local Authorities
- Health Boards
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency
- Integration Joint Boards
Category 2 Responders
- Electricity Operators
- Gas Suppliers
- Scottish Water
- Communications Providers
- Railway Operators
- Airport Operators
- Harbour Authorities
- NHS National Services Scotland
- Health and Safety Executive.
In addition to the above, other agencies can have an important role in the context of resilience. These include but are not confined to:
- the military
- the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
- Transport Scotland
- commercial organisations
- the Scottish Government
- the voluntary sector2.
Regional Resilience Partnerships
Under the terms of the amendment regulations, the structure which supports multi- agency co-ordination is the Regional Resilience Partnership (RRP). Currently there are three such groups in the North, West and East of Scotland. Within each RRP area are a number of Local Resilience Partnerships (LRPs) determined by the RRPs themselves.
The RRPs and LRPs bring together all the relevant organisations in an area to develop an effective approach in dealing with emergencies in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
The Civil Contingencies Act places a number of legal duties upon Category 1 responders. These are:
- Duty to assess risk
- Duty to maintain emergency plans
- Duty to maintain business continuity plans
- Duty to promote business continuity3
- Duty to communicate with the public
- Duty to share information
- Duty to co-operate.
The legal duties outlined by the Act and the regulations are described in detail in Section 2. For Category 2 responders the basic legislative principle is that they must co-operate with Category 1 responders in connection with the performance of their duties, including proper sharing of information.
2 In performing their duties under the Act, Category 1 responders must have regard to the activities of voluntary organisations of a certain type (Regulation 17)
3 This duty refers to Local Authority Category 1 responders only